MONROVIA – Following the release of a statement by the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), which raises integrity issue at the Governance Commission (GC), the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), has also made its official position regarding the issue at hand at the GC.
It can be recalled that CENTAL two days ago called on the Standard Bearer of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to remove Atty. Garrison Yealue, Chairman of GC) the CDC’s campaign team.
According to CENTAL, which is the national chapter of the international corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), the presence of Atty. Yealue on the campaign team of the CDC sends a very bad signal to the public, development partners, and even staff of the institution who are supposed to be politically neutral, especially policy experts that are supposed to advise the national government on what independent and evidence-based policy directions the country should take.
According to a statement issued in Monrovia by CENTAL under the signature of its Executive Director, Anderson Miamen, the sooner the government and CDC did this, the better it will be for their reputation, the independence of the Commission, and the much-needed rebranding of the institution that has been largely dormant since 2018.
CENTAL recalled that on July 28, 2023, the Coalition for Democratic Change – CDC- named her Campaign Team for the ensuing October 2023 Liberian Elections. Atty. Yealue, Chairman of the GC was named as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Administration.
Accordingly, NCSCL, which is the apex body of all CSOs in the country, has welcomed the CENTAL for the statement and has therefore called on the GC boss to resign with immediate effect so as to maintain the sanity of the public integrity institution.
In support of CENTAL, the Council in a statement issued Thursday, August 3, 2023, expressed serious disappointment in the latest action of the CDC to appoint the head of an integrity body that should be non-political on its campaign team.
“The National Civil Society Council of Liberia sees this decision as a complete mockery to the Liberian people to the tenet of democracy as this contravenes the ACT establishing the commission. For us at the Council, we want to join CENTAL to call on the CDC to withdraw the appointment of Atty. Yealue, who heads one of our integrity institutions, from its campaign team,” said the statement signed by the Chairperson of NCSCL, Madam Loretta Alethe Pope-Kai.
“Similarly, we are calling on Atty. Yealue to choose between serving the GC and the CDC campaign team. If he chooses to remain with the campaign team in the execution of his political freedom, he must resign from GC to save the face of the integrity institution because his role as a campaigner with CDC violates Sessions 2.2 and 5.3.4 of the GC Act,” asserted the CSO Council.
As outlined in the elections calendar, the official campaign kicks off Saturday, August 5, 2023, hence, President Weah, who seeks re-election for another six-year mandate, will be challenged by 18 other contenders who will be selling their ideas to Liberians during the two-month campaign period so as to woo voters to their sides in the October 10 Elections.
As announced by the country’s electoral body – the National Elections Commission (NEC) on Wednesday, those cleared to challenge the Liberian leader include: Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), former Liberia’s Labor Minister and ex-President of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP), and businessman and politician Simeon Freeman of the Movement for Progress Change (MPC).
Others are former Liberia Minister of State without Portfolio Dr. Clarence K. Moniba of the Liberia National Union (LNU), Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe of the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT), Mr. William Wiah Tuider of the Democratic National Allegiance (DNA) and businessman Sheikh A. Kouyateh of the Liberia First Movement (LFM), who contested for the Montserrado County Senatorial Seat in 2011 and 2017.
The rest are: former UN Diploma – Sara Beysolow Nyanti of the African Liberation League (ALL), Madam Bendu Alehma an Independent Candidate, Robert Franz Morris, Executive Officer of Phoenix Services Construction Contracting Company, who is running as an Independent Candidate, Allen R. Brown, Jr. of the Liberia Restoration Party (LRP), Mr. Lusinee Kamara, Sr. of the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), David GB Kiamu of the Democratic People’s Party of Liberia (DPPL), Alexander N. Kollie of the Reformers National Congress (RNC), Richard Saye Miller of the Liberians For Prosperity (LFP), Edward W. Appleton, Jr. of the Grassroots Development Movement (GDM), Yorfee Luther of Liberia Rebuilding Party (Rebuilders), and Mr. Joshua Tom Turner of the New Liberia Party (NLP).
Like in 2017, 20 candidates were poised to contest the country’s highest political seat; however, one of the hopefuls, Dr. George P. Gonpu of the African Democratic Movement of Liberia (ADML) tendered in his withdrawal on July 22.